President William Ruto’s coast region allies woo Azimio politicians

A section of the UDA supporters in Mombasa.

A section of the UDA supporters in Mombasa celebrate after the Supreme Court of Kenya released its ruling which upheld the election of William Ruto as Kenya's fifth President on September 15, 2022. A section of political leaders aligned with the President has initiated plans to woo their colleagues from Azimio la Umoja One Kenya to their side.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Raila Odinga’s allies in the coast face an uphill task of fronting a strong opposition to check Kenya Kwanza in the region.
  • Kaya elders also delved into the matter, saying, the only way for the coast region is to work with the government of the day.
  • Some political analysts have averred that Ms Jumwa’s and Mr Mvurya’s appointments, should they be confirmed, will lead to political realignments in the coast region.

With President William Ruto firmly in office, Mr Raila Odinga’s allies in the coast face an uphill task of fronting a strong opposition to check Kenya Kwanza in the region.

Now, a section of political leaders aligned to the President has initiated plans to woo their colleagues from Azimio la Umoja One Kenya to their side in the hope of inheriting Mr Odinga’s political support base.

President Ruto’s commitment and nomination of former governor Salim Mvurya and former Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa into his Cabinet and the directive to return port operations to Mombasa have given a boost to the plans some community elders' support.

That President Ruto is keen on eating into the Azimio-leaning zone is evident in Senate Speaker Amason Kingi’s Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) actions.

Yesterday, PAA officials and candidates, who lost in the August polls, told off Azimio for planning to block the appointment of Cabinet nominees with integrity issues.

“We’ve started the journey to unite the coastal region like the rest of the regions. There’s no political relevance in continuing to support ODM in the coast because they have been losing. 

“It’s clear parties that are ours, like PAA, will give us a voice in national politics,” Mr Ben Kai, who unsuccessfully vied for the Kilifi Senate seat, said.

According to Mr Kai, PAA will continue to woo losers to join Mr Ruto’s camp as he has shown that he can keep political promises.

Emboldened

He said this has emboldened them to make even more political raids into the opponents’ turf.

Mr Kai said Kenya Kwanza is keen on winning over politicians from Azimio and “things are already looking good because the government is more national in outlook”.

Kaya elders also delved into the matter, saying, the only way for the coast region is to work with the government of the day.

“This is the only way we tackle historical injustices that have bedevilled this region,” the elders’ spokesman Nguma Charo said.

He added that by honouring the campaign promises he made, the President has boosted the confidence of the region’s leaders in him.

Some political analysts have averred that Ms Jumwa’s and Mr Mvurya’s appointments, should they be confirmed, will lead to political realignments in the coast region.

But others are sceptical that the two Cabinet nominees will have any political influence in the region as a result of their appointments.

According to the analysts, there has not been a leader who has been able to give political direction to the region since the days of former ministers Karisa Maitha and Shariff Nassir.

Dr Daniel Mwaringa, a communication lecturer at the Technical University of Mombasa said it is very likely that Mr Mvurya and Ms Jumwa will be President Ruto’s political power brokers in the coast.

Even so, Dr Mwaringa noted: “The pick of Ms Jumwa as CS nominee has elevated her political status. Mr Mvurya represents a sober kind of politician who performed well in his tenure as governor of Kwale.” 

Dr Mwaringa added that the two coast politicians played a major role in helping UDA gain more votes in the region, hence their elevation is deserved.

Ms Maimuma Mwidau said that the nomination of the two leaders will not have much regional political impact except in their respective counties of Kwale and Kilifi.

She said that in the last General Election, UDA won only one MP seat in Kilifi despite Ms Jumwa’s efforts.

“That notwithstanding, PAA being a young party managed two MPs and several members of the county assembly,” she said.

Additional reporting by Alex Kalama

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.